The University of Bristol benefits from the concentration of aerospace industry in the south-west of England and a key feature of the Department's research is its close links with the industry - including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, AgustaWestland, BAE Systems and others further afield. The Department has also seen burgeoning links with the renewable energy industry.
Some of these research links have led to the establishment of formal technology partnerships, namely the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Composites, the AgustaWestland Helicopters University Technology Centre in Vibration, and a composites technology partnership with Vestas Wind Systems. The result of this close relationship with industry, associated with substantial research funding from other UK and EU sources, is that the Department's research is industrially relevant and at the leading edge of the aerospace sector as reflected by the high proportion of research found to be internationally excellent and worldleading in the 2008 UK Government Research Assessment Exercise.
The Department holds over £15 million worth of research contracts in the fields of aerodynamics and fluid dynamics, dynamics and systems, and composite materials and structures. Academic staff working on the latter lead the University's Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS) cross-faculty research theme, a £7.1 million award from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for a PhD Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) in Advanced Composites, and the EngD Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Composites Manufacture, a £3.8-million award from the EPSRC to establish a centre for innovative manufacturing of composites. The ACCIS DTC programme aims to train highly technical researchers to satisfy industry needs, reflected in the industrial support for 50% of the projects, and also to develop next generation multifunctional composite materials. The EngD IDC programme aims to train research engineers with industrially based project work interspersed with short-course taught modules.
As well as the contracted research, the Department also undertakes a large amount of consultancy work and general research. The more fundamental research is supported from internal funds. This uninhibited approach to research ideas encourages collaborative projects with other departments and research centres throughout the University.
An indication of our research esteem is the recent selection by the UK Government for ACCIS to lead the establishment of the UK National Composites Centre. The NCC is a £25 million investment supported by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency). The Centre is a key element of the Government's new Composites Strategy, which will bring together dynamic companies and enterprising academics to develop new technologies for the design and rapid manufacture of high-quality composite products. The combination of academic and business strengths will speed progress from laboratory to design to factory and into products. A further £28-million development was recently announced to increase the capacity of the NCC yet further and facilitate the inclusion of additional academic input to deliver world-class innovation in the development of composite materials.
You may also be interested in our taught or our Research Groups The Department vigorously pursues its research interests in its three major academic groups: Fluid Flow and Aerodynamics; Structures and Materials; and Dynamics and Systems. This work is supported by 60 academic and research staff, approximately 80 postgraduates, plus a highly experienced technical team.
Key research interests Dr Giuliano Allegri, Prediction of damage onset and propogation.
Professor Christian Allen, Numerical solutions of unsteady fluid flows.
Dr Lucy Berthoud, Space platform design and systems integration.
Professor Ian Bond, Development and performance of novel and multifunctional composite materials.
Dr Stephen Burrow, Aircraft systems; electrical energy; low-power systems.
Professor Jonathan Cooper, Structural dynamics; aeroelasticity; flight flutter testing; morphing structures; optimisation.
Professor David Ewins, Structural dynamics and integration of the experimental, mechanical and theoretical methods. Director of the Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamics Engineering (BLADE).
Dr Ian Farrow, Design of aerospace composite structures.
Dr Ann Gaitonde, Computational methods to calculate unsteady fluid flows.
Dr Stephen Hallett, Damage in composite materials.
Dr Paul Harper, Engineering design; renewable energy systems; sustainability.
Dr Dmitry Ivanov, Innovative approaches to composites manufacture and modelling.
Dr Dorian Jones, Direct numerical simulation of incompressible turbulence; parallel processing and CFD for unsteady viscous flows.
Dr Mark Lowenberg, Non-linear flight dynamics; application of bifurcation theory to aircraft stability analysis and controller design (fixed and rotary wing); real-time controlled dynamic wind tunnel testing.
Dr Andres Marcos, Autonomy of aerospace systems via the use of model-based approaches for self-diagnosis/self-repair; advanced techniques for control and fault diagnosis.
Professor Ivana Partridge, Polymer composites; processing for high performance.
Professor Hua-Xin Peng, Microstructurally inhomogenous composites; engineered cellular materials.
Professor Kevin Potter, Innovative approaches to composite materials, manufacture and structures.
Dr Sameer Rahatekar, Carbon nanotube and graphene-based nanocomposites, multiscale composites; cellulose and natural polymer-based composites; molecular-scale and continuum-scale modelling of composite manufacturing.
Dr Tom Rendall, CFD for moving objects; computational optimization of aerodynamic designs.
Dr Djamel Rezgui, Aeroelastic stability of smart nonlinear helicopter rotor structures.
Dr Arthur Richards, Vehicle control and autonomy, robust predictive control, path planning.
Dr Tom Richardson, Control; classical flight control; high-level decision-making and autonomy.
Professor Fabrizio Scarpa, Auxetic materials; smart materials and structures; structural dynamics; morphing structures; multidomain design of components.
Dr Raf Theunissen, Experimental aerodynamics and fluid dynamics; image-based flow velocity measurements.
Dr Brano Titurus, Structural vibration, with focus on inverse problems; hydro-mechanical vibration contolling mechanisms.
Dr Richard Trask, Development of bio-inspired multifunctional materials.
Professor Paul Weaver, Composite plates and shells, buckling structures; materials performance; cellular structures and morphing composites.
Dr Shane Windsor, Carbon nanotube and graphene-based nanocomposites, multiscale composites; cellulose and natural polymer-based composites; molecular-scale and continuumscale modelling of composite manufacturing.
Professor Michael Wisnom, Predicting the behaviour of composite structures and materials; application of finite element methods.
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